It's been a long time, almost two months since my last post. While I've had longer hiatuses in the past, few have been as tumultuous.
Since my birthday, I've dealt with coming to terms with the death of my grandmother, my last grandparent. She was in her 90s, had a host of medical issues, and passed away peacefully, but she was always a looming figure in my life, especially during my childhood. I still sometimes forget that she's gone, but I remember how many people's lives she touched. A saying I once heard goes "Live your life so there will be standing room only at your funeral." Those words were never so true as for my grandmother.
Somehow, in this time, I've also managed to finally find a new job. Although I had numerous periodic gripes about my work, I did like my job very much. But being so close to friends and family in my hometown, the distance was palpably felt. A sense of urgency to get back there manifested a few years ago, motivated primarily by several severe illnesses and afflictions among members of my family, and the deaths of several friends' parents. This instilled in me a desire to be closer to my family, especially as my parents get older, and I've finally succeeded.
That the new job pays better, offers better vacation, seems more interesting and no longer requires me to work nights or weekends, is just the icing on the cake.
But I will still miss all the friends I made in my five years at my previous employer, who were nice enough to throw me a farewell party. I will definitely miss being the "token male". Thanks for everything, you guys!